SAPEA investigates consumer perceptions of biodegradable plastics

Multidisciplinary panel by Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) discusses how consumers perceive biodegradable plastics; reviews how communication can support management and proper disposal; identifies market and policy options to increase awareness

Reviews examine biobased polymers

Several recent reviews examine the value chain of biobased polymers; discuss clarification of terms such as biobased, degradable, biodegradable, and compostable; define “biotechnological recycling (bio-recycling)” as the use of enzymes and microorganisms in a technological setting to biodegrade polymers; three biodegradable polymers assessed in marine field trials

CVORR analysis: Bio-based vs. conventional plastics

Scientists compile matrix to compare the sustainability impacts of fossil carbon-based with bio-based plastics in the food packaging value chain; apply Complex Value Optimization for Resource Recovery (CVORR) base-line analysis, social, economic, environmental, technical metrics; study highlights knowledge gaps; discusses land-use change, chemical migration, eco-labels, biodegradability standards

Studies investigate circular economy barriers, consumer perceptions

Recent set of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals review current barriers in flexible plastics to achieving circular economy, recommends regulatory policies be tailored to individual steps in supply chain; consumers easily confused by plastic waste management system, recycling processes, biodegradability claims; researchers instead propose food system shift towards decentralization, shorter supply chains

China issues national standard for bio-materials

Sets definitions for 58 terms including “plastic”, “biodegradable plastic”, “composite”, and “polymer”; also defines process to mark and identify biobased materials; standard to become effective on June 1, 2021

EEA report presents pathways toward circular plastics economy

European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes report on plastics, their impact on the environment and climate, and their place in an EU circular economy; three joint pathways for achieving necessary change identified based on smarter use, increased circularity, and renewable raw material

New form of PLA seen as beneficial for application in hot food packaging

Researchers develop a more thermally resistant form of polylactic acid (PLA) plastic; provides clear, tough, and heat resistant material with the potential to expand PLA market application and reduce price

Bacardi launching biodegradable plastic bottle

Spirits manufacturer set to replace material used across its brands globally, first new bottles to reach markets in 2023; polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) based plastic reported to biodegrade across environmental compartments within 18 months

FPF Workshop 2020: Proceedings available

8th annual Food Packaging Forum workshop focuses on linking policy-making with scientific research to improve the safety of food contact materials; video recordings, presentation slides, and summary articles now available online

FPF Workshop 2020: Hazardous chemicals in FCMs

Stefan Merkel presents recent work of German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR); Lisa Zimmermann discusses bioassay-based toxicity assessment of conventional plastics, bioplastics, and plant-based materials; Andrew Turner emphasizes presence of toxic brominated flame retardants in recycled plastics, uses of hazardous heavy metals in colored decorations applied to glass articles